Butt Kicker Exercises

Butt kicker exercises of any kind are excellent for working your hamstrings and butt muscles. Butt kicker exercises are dynamic movements that can be performed at a low-intensity as part of your warm-up or more intensely for an added bonus to your workout. Perform butt kicker exercises on three nonconsecutive days a week to lift, strengthen and shape your butt and hamstrings.
Butt kicks are an effective warm-up exercise as well a beneficial exercise for runners who are trying to improve their stride. This exercise intensely works your hamstrings. You can perform this exercise while jogging in place or jogging over a distance. Keeping your torso erect, begin to jog. As you’re jogging, emphasize your back stride and bring your heel to your butt in an attempt to make contact between the two. If you’re able to make contact, great. If not, just bring your heel up as high as you can. Perform this exercise for one to two minutes.
The butt kicker exercise targets your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and hamstring muscles. Begin on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees aligned beneath your hips. Stiffen your torso and contract your abdominal muscles. Keeping your knee bent, lift your right leg to hip-height with your foot flexed. The sole of your foot should be pointing toward the ceiling

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. Keeping your leg bent, contract your glutes to lift the sole of your foot toward the ceiling and then lower your leg back to hip-level. Complete 20 to 25 reps and then switch legs.
The single-leg butt kick is a Pilates-based exercise that gently works your hamstrings. Lie face down on the floor with your legs extended. Place your elbows on the floor to prop your upper body up. Pull your belly button into your spine, contract your abdominal muscles and lengthen your spine. Bend your right leg and bring your heel toward your butt. Kick your heel in three distinct pulses and then lower your foot back to the floor. Repeat the exercise with your left leg. Complete eight to 12 reps per leg.

How To Make Heels Look Nice With Fat Ankles

Women with large calves or big ankles can slim their look by wearing high-heeled shoes. The right heel style can elongate the legs and minimize the size of your ankles. You should avoid shoes that have an ankle strap; this shoe type will draw attention to your ankles

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. Flat shoes and low heels do not flatter wide legs and ankles either, so avoid these types of footwear. Whenever you plan to sport heels, reduce your salt intake. Too much salt causes water to pool around the feet, triggering swelling.
Wear shoes that have details on the toes such as rhinestone accents or bows. This will draw the eye away from your ankles. Do not wear high heels with ankle straps except for Mary Jane-style shoes. These types of shoes have a low strap with a center strap that divides the foot.
Try a pair of open-toed heels with a medium to high heel. Sling-backed or open-backed heels give the illusion of longer legs, too.
Consider wearing a shoe that has a chunky heel such as platform wedges. Wearing shoes with a heel that is too thin will accentuate wide ankles

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. Find shoes that have a medium to thick heel for the best look.

Skin Rashes Caused by Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamins are organic compounds that are necessary for important biological functions but that the human body is generally unable to synthesize. Vitamin deficiencies can manifest in various body systems, but are most evident when they affect the skin. It is important to recognize changes in the skin in order to properly address the underlying problem.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and essential for many biologic functions, specifically collagen synthesis. Thus, vitamin C deficiency, also called scurvy, can manifest as loss of integrity in collagen-containing tissues such as the skin. Skin manifestations of scurvy include bruises and corkscrewing of hairs with bleeding from hair follicles.
Niacin is a B-vitamin that is primarily involved in energy production. Niacin deficiency, also known as pellagra, has characteristic skin changes described as photosensitive inflammation of the skin that is red, painful and itchy. With time, it becomes swollen and blisters develop. Once the blisters burst, the skin becomes crusted with brown scales. The skin eventually becomes thick and hyperpigmented. The backsides of the hands are most commonly affected.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it is stored in the body, and is necessary for proper keratinization of the skin. The skin findings associated with vitamin A deficiency are dryness, itching, and scaling. Severe deficiency can cause deep skin cracks and fissures.
Vitamin K is necessary for production of blood coagulation factors; deficiency can lead to abnormalities in blood clotting which can manifest as abnormal bruising of the skin.
Riboflavin is another of the energy-producing B-vitamins. Deficiency causes inflammation of the skin particularly in the nasal area, forehead, cheeks, and behind the ears. It can also affect the inside of the elbows and backs of the knees. It affects the genital region more severely in men than women.
Vitamin B6 deficiency presents as skin lesions on the face, scalp, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and perineum. The lesions are flaky, white, and oily

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. There may also be skin lesions present similar to those seen in niacin deficiency as B6 is necessary for production of niacin.
Vitamin B 12 deficiency can cause hair depigmentation, and skin hyperpigmentation. The most affected areas are the hands, nails

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, and face.
Though biotin deficiency is extremely rare, it can cause skin redness, scaling and crusting dermatitis that starts around the eyes, nose, and mouth and proceeds to affect other areas of skin surrounding orifices.

Jackson Skates Vs. Riedell Skates

Jackson and Riedell are two of the biggest names in the skating world. Both companies have a distinguished history, and both manufacture a broad range of figure skates to suit everyone from a beginning skater to an Olympic champion. Riedell makes both roller skates and ice skates

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, but Jackson just makes ice skates. According to DiscountSkatewear.com, Jackson offers good options for beginning skaters, while Riedell has good options for mid-level skaters.
Jackson Skates and its sister company GAM Figure Skates are both owned by Canadian conglomerate Tournament Sports, which focuses on skating and golf products. The company was founded in 1966 by Don Jackson, winner of the 1962 World Figure Skating Championship. In 1996, Jackson built a state-of-the-art factory in Ottawa. The University of Delaware and Jackson Ultima Skates teamed up in 2004 to redesign the traditional figure skate and develop a skate with a hinged boot to enable elite competitors to flex their ankles on jumps in order to reduce the types of overuse injuries that cut short the careers of young champions such as Tara Lipinski.
Paul and his wife Sophie Riedell founded Riedell Shoes in Red Wing, Minnesota in 1947. Their intention was to craft the finest quality skates in the business, as well as offer affordable

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, high-quality skates for people at every level of expertise. Champions such as Kurt Browing and Johnny Weir have worn Riedell boots and blades. The company is proud of its Eclipse blades, which it says have the most consistent skating edges on the market.
Both Jackson and Riedell have a competitive series. Riedell features 2010 U.S. National Champion Rachell Flatt in the marketing its competitive series product line. Its high-end skate boots feature an ultralite cork heel that the company says is 20 percent lighter that other heels. Competitive series boots cost roughly $650, and blades another $350, as of March 2011. Jackson has its own competitive product line, as well as three lines for recreational and beginning skaters, including a soft boot that resembles a high-top tennis shoe.
Comparing Jackson and Riedell skates is like comparing Coke and Pepsi — your preference will be based on individual taste rather than quality. When it comes to ice skates, always consider fit and feel. To get the best fit and feel, sit down when your feet are measured. Wear very thin ice skating socks, and be aware that different manufacturers sometimes size their shoes differently. Lace ice skates up tightly when you try them on, with more of the lace pressure on the top four eyelets. Moderately stiff boots give your feet and ankles good support and decent flexibility. Expect ice skates to take some breaking-in time.

What Are the Benefits of High Heel Shoes?

High heels are a staple among women for many reasons. Not only are these types of shoes versatile with most outfits, but they offer many benefits anyone can appreciate. Whether you want to gain a few inches in height or look thinner, high-heel shoes can provide solutions. Still

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, heels carry a bad reputation for causing injury after long-term use. Before you give up on them entirely, consider all the benefits of high-heel shoes and how you can tweak your lifestyle to help prevent bodily harm.
High heel shoes offer height solutions if you want to be taller. Whether you want to be one or six inches taller, a variety of shoes with different heel heights can give you the boost you need. Heels instantly make you taller while making your legs look longer, too.
This type of footwear is best-known for helping women reach new heights. Little may you know, however, that your favorite pair of heels may also give you a slimmer physique. When you wear tall shoes, your body shape responds by arching the back. Your backside may stick out while your chest presses forward. The contrast creates an illusion of a smaller waist.
Heels can make your entire body look slimmer. This is especially the case in the legs. Depending on the heel height you choose, your calves must compensate for the changes and adjust to the shoes. As a result, the calves may tighten as you walk. Overtime, you may notice less fat in the calves and more muscle.
While heels can positively alter your appearance, perhaps nothing is more important than the self-confidence good footwear offers. If you¡¯re petite, heels can make you feel more authoritative, especially among a tall group. Heel shoes also give you the freedom to change outfits without lugging along several changes in footwear. You will be confident knowing your shoes can carry you stylishly through your job, as well as casual after-hours events.
High-heel shoes provide numerous benefits that some women simply can¡¯t live without. However, constantly moving around at a steep angle can do some damage if you¡¯re not careful. Try not to wear heels when at home, and slip them off underneath your desk at work, if possible. To compensate for the abuse, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends daily exercises to help flex your feet. This can potentially reduce damage to your heels, toes, ankles and back.

How to Jog on Concrete

Ask any diehard runner about the best jogging surfaces and you¡¯ll likely hear all about personal preferences. Still, concrete seems to be at the bottom of the list of favorites. That¡¯s because concrete¡¯s hard, unvaried surface leads to more overuse injuries, such as shin splints and stress fractures

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, than other softer, varied terrains do. The problem with concrete isn¡¯t its hardness, though its rigid resistance can take a toll on your joints. The problem is the unvarying nature of concrete that most often leads to overuse injuries.
Lace up in cushioned shoes that fit well. While the right running shoe for you largely depends on your running style and foot anatomy, choose a road running shoe rather than a shoe built for the trails. Road-running shoes include thinner tread and beefed up cushioning and support for the hard impact of jogging on concrete. Expect to replace your shoes every 500 to 600 miles to ensure maximum comfort.
According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the best jogging surfaces are uniform and pliant enough to absorb the shock of multiple foot strikes. But sometimes these surfaces are not available. Runners need to take special care to adequately warm up before running on concrete. Do a five- to 10-minute warmup before your run to mobilize your joints. Perform knees to chest exercises, ankle rotations and side stretches. Move into more aerobic exercises to increase your heart rate. Jog in place, begin a slow jog on concrete and gradually pick up the pace. After your run, stretch.
You can mitigate the impact jogging on a hard surface like concrete has on your body by landing on your forefoot rather than your heels. Landing on your heel intensifies the shock and creates a counterproductive interruption to forward movement

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. Landing on the forefoot, shifting the weight onto the ball of your foot and allowing the heel to brush the ground before swiftly floating up toward the buttocks reduces hard impact heel strikes. Lean forward as the raised foot swings forward like a pendulum, and maintain short strides.
Proper alignment of the upper body when jogging on concrete uses your energy more efficiently. Stand tall and lean forward through your cadence and allow gravity to pull you forward by keeping your strides short. Determine your stride by leaning forward without bending at the hip. When you feel like you are about to fall forward, step forward with your swing-foot and land on your forefoot. This ¡°pulling¡± movement versus pushing off the concrete minimizes ground impacts and propels you forward as opposed to propelling you up and down.

Exercises to Help Keep Your Heels Down in Your Riding Position

A correctly positioned heel ¡ª one that sits just below the stirrup bar ¡ª allows your calf and ankle to flexibly absorb the movement of the horse. Olympic dressage coach Jane Savoie advises that if your heel will not stay down, it may not be a heel problem at all, but rather an issue with your calf muscles being rigid or stiff. Exercises that stretch your calf, making the muscles soft and springy, will often help your heels go down easier.
Calf stretches help you to drop your heel and ride with a long leg. Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a 2- to 4-inch-high step. With your knees straight, lower your heels until you feel the calf muscles stretch, and hold the position for five to 10 seconds. If you don’t have access to a step, place your hands on a wall, standing approximately three feet back. With your feet, hips and shoulders pointed at the wall, step forward with your left foot and slowly bend the knee, stretching the calf muscle. Be sure to keep your right leg straight and both heels on the ground. Hold for 15 seconds and switch sides.
Cherry Hill, award-winning author of more than 30 books on horse training and care, recommends stretching hamstrings ¡ª the large muscles at the back of the thigh ¡ª to help you ride with a long, secure leg and deep seat. Stand with your feet together and knees straight. Pick up your right foot and cross it in front of your left leg

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, placing it on the ground perpendicular to the outside of your left foot. Bend at the waist, reaching for the floor until your hamstrings fully stretch

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. Straighten up and switch legs.
You’re probably familiar with the term lunge as it relates to riding, namely as a technique for exercising and training horses from the ground. The term lunge also refers to a popular weight-training exercise for working the lower body. Lunges also improve balance, the hallmark of centered riding. With your spine straight, step forward about two feet with your right foot. Keeping your back leg straight and the heel down, bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle. You should feel your calf muscle stretching as your quadriceps muscles support your weight. Straighten up and switch legs.
If you have an unflappable, steady equine, or a good human assistant, try stretching while mounted. Suzanne Sheppard, a horse trainer and Centered Riding clinician, recommends simultaneously loosening up the hips, knees and ankles to help get those heels down. While holding your reins, place your palms on either side of the horse’s withers. Using your hands as supports, stand up as high as you can on your toes, leaning forward at your hips. Hold for two to three seconds. With your heels still up, bend your knees. Slowly relax your ankles, letting your heels fall down. Repeat these steps eight to 10 times. Start the exercise at the halt, but once comfortable, you can graduate to the walk.
Gripping with your knees can destabilize your lower leg and pull your heels up. Ensure your kneecaps are pointing down to lengthen your thigh and drop your whole leg downward. Many riders force their toes inward in an attempt to keep their foot parallel to the horse¡¯s body, causing their ankle to stiffen. Try turning your toes out at roughly a 35-degree angle to help loosen the ankle and drop the heel. As with all exercises, never stretch to the point of pain. Inhale deeply into the stretch and exhale completely during the stretch to allow your muscles to fully relax and release.

How to Remove Corns and Calluses on Toes

Corns and calluses are growths of hard, thickened skin that result from repeated friction or pressure, explains the Nemours Foundation on Kids Health.org. Often, ill-fitting shoes are a contributing factor. Corns and calluses typically have a yellowed or grayish coloration. While they are a protective measure taken by the skin and generally harmless, they can be unsightly and painful, particularly on the toes and feet. In such cases, taking the proper steps gets rid of them.
Eliminate the source of ongoing pressure or friction that contributed to the formation of your corns or calluses. If aggravation isn’t alleviated, your corns and calluses will not heal, and removal will be followed by recurrence

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. This may mean better-fitting shoes that have long enough toe space and do not constrict the toes together. If a structural abnormality in your toes or feet cause chronic friction, tailored shoe inserts may be necessary. Foam wedges between the toes help some people, too

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. Corrective surgical procedures are sometimes necessary, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Wear corn pads over the growths to insulate them from further irritation.
Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for about 10 minutes. This will soften corns and calluses, making them easier to abrade away. With a back-and-forth motion and moderate pressure, rub a wet pumice stone over the growths, sanding the corns and calluses down. Stop after every few swipes and give your toe a quick rinse to remove pumice stone particles. Repeat as needed, making sure to stop before getting to the underlying skin surface.
Apply a topical antibiotic to the area where the corn or callus was and to surrounding skin. This is done to lower the risk of infection of abraded skin. If you got too close to the skin, use a bandage to protect the wound. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, drainage, swelling or pain, and consult a doctor if you suspect infection. Apply a moisturizer to affected skin as well to keep it soft and lower the likelihood of recurrence.

How to Keep My Shoes From Sliding While I’m Walking

Whether you’re in the office or out on the town, don’t let slippery shoes make you walk wobbly, twist an ankle or fall flat on your face. Shoes without slip-resistant material can be annoying, embarrassing and downright dangerous. The good news is that you don’t have to swap sexiness for safety. That’s right — you can be a shoo-in at any event if you simply add some traction to your tootsies before stepping out the door. A little well-placed grip allows you to pound the pavement — or the dance floor — with confidence and class.
Wipe the bottom of your shoes with a rag. This releases any dirt or debris from the bottom of the shoe and prepares the sole for sanding.
Rub medium-grit sand paper in circles along the entire shoe bottom

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. Concentrate the most effort to the area that lies under the balls of the feet and the heels

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.
Hold the shoe steady in your hand. Carefully scrape a couple of big “X”s into the sole using the tip of the blade of a sharp pair of scissors. Repeat for the other shoe.
Peel the backing off a non-slip shoe pad. Place the pad directly onto the bottom of the shoe and press firmly. Make sure the pad fits the bottom of the shoe before pressing it on. If needed, trim the pad with a pair of scissors beforehand.
Visit a shoe repair shop and have protective rubber guards placed onto the bottoms of the shoes. Ask that the guards match the color of the shoes’ bottoms so that they are not as noticeable when your soles show.

How to Improve Poor Circulation in the Hands & Feet

Several conditions can cause poor circulation in the hands and feet, ranging from decreased blood flow to polycythemia, diabetes or stress and anxiety, according to the University of Alabama. Blood vessels constrict in response to cold temperatures. The feet typically are affected first when nerve damage is present. Heart disease, a family history of vascular disease and high cholesterol also can precipitate cold hands and feet and a loss of feeling in the extremities, which usually are accompanied by other symptoms as well. Techniques to restore circulation depend on the cause.
Check your own level of risk before beginning any treatments for poor circulation. According to the University of Alabama, a quick test of your blood restoration capabilities can tell you if you are just responding to environmental stimulus or you have a more serious condition that requires medical attention

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. Squeeze your fingertips and watch how quickly they return to their normal pink color. Healthy circulation should return within a couple seconds.
Follow your prescribed diet if you have diabetes or other digestive disorders that cause your blood sugar to plummet. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, low blood sugar levels exacerbate neuropathies that decrease circulation to the feet and hands. Check your blood sugar levels regularly and eat every three hours to prevent loss of feelings and additional complications

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. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend eating a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to combat peripheral neuropathy. Keep your weight in check because obesity also contributes to the numbness and poor circulation. Exercise regularly to control weight and blood sugar levels.
Include regular lifestyle changes in your daily routine to minimize the pain and discomfort of neuropathies and poor circulation. According to the MayoClinic.com, you should avoid prolonged pressure on your elbows or knees that cuts off the circulation and exacerbates the condition. Smoking is a major contributor to poor circulation and should be eliminated. Massage your feet and hands by gently rubbing in circular motions. Start at your wrists and lightly work the massage movements to your fingertips. Perform the same motions from your heels to your toes. Alternatively, you can include regular massages from a trained therapist once or twice a week to improve circulation. Finally, cover your hands and feet appropriately in cold weather, particularly if you have a chronic condition such as Raynaud’s phenomenon. Keep stress levels low by practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing.